This Roasted Vegetable Stock is rich with umami depth and the enhanced sweetness that caramelization lends to roasted Vegetables and Garlic.
I have often added leftover roasted vegetables as well as vegetable trimmings to general purpose stocks, but you can make a terrific vegetarian, or vegan, broth for use in other recipes that is both hearty and delicious. There are many variations on the sorts of vegetables that can be used, but those in the selection used here make an especially nice blend.
How to make Roasted Vegetable Stock
Peel and cut the carrot into good-sized chunks then quarter the onions and remove the outer layers, leaving the root and stem end intact so that the pieces hold together during the cooking process. Toss the carrots and the onions in a bowl with just enough oil to give them a very light filmy coating and then sprinkle with some salt and pepper.
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and then spread the carrots and onion pieces over the bottom of a roasting pan. Place in the oven and roast for about 45 minutes, tossing and stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are beginning to brown here and there on the surface.
Cut the celery stalks into 3 or 4-inch lengths, and cut the zucchini into chunks. Add these to a bowl with the mushrooms (left whole with the stems) and again toss with oil, salt and pepper. Now stir them into the roasting pan, making sure everything is spread out evenly and not piled up at all, and continue to roast for another 45 minutes or so, stirring once or twice.
For the last part of the roasting operation, remove the cloves from the head of garlic and, without peeling, bash them lightly with the flat side of a knife to crush them slightly. Add them to the roasting pan, stirring once again. Continue to roast for another 20 minutes or so until everything is tender and nicely caramelized.
Remove the vegetables and deglaze the pan with a half cup or so of water and pour the result into a stock pot along with the vegetables once they have cooled.
Pour 8 cups (2 liters) of cold water over the vegetables and slowly bring to a gentle simmer over low-moderate heat. You wish to avoid boiling the stock while the vegetables are present so as to avoid a cloudy, murky result. After about 4 hours, the vegetables will have largely given up their flavor to the water.
After four hours, the stock will be nicely covered and relatively clear. However, at this point, the taste of the stock will be pleasing but not quite strong enough for use.
Strain the vegetables from the stock and put it back on the heat over a high flame. You may now boil the stock with out fear of clouding. Reduce the contents until about half of the original volume remains and taste and adjust for salt.
The result doesn’t have quite the same umami punch as a meat or bone broth, but it will serve as a nice soup as is, or provide a nice flavor base for sauces, or braised dishes.
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Roasted Vegetable Stock
- 3 medium-sized Carrots
- 3 medium-sized Onions
- 12 large Button Mushrooms
- 2 small Zucchini
- 4 stalks of Celery
- 1 head of Garlic
- Vegetable Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Peel and cut the carrot chunks, quarter the onions, and toss them in a bowl with a little oil and sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and roast the carrots and onion for about 45 minutes until they are beginning to brown.
- Cut the celery stalks into 3 or 4-inch lengths, and cut the zucchini into chunks and toss with a little oil, salt and pepper, along with the whole mushrooms. Stir these into the roasting pan and continue cooking for another 45 minutes or so.
- Finally, lightly bash the Garlic cloves to help them release their flavor, add them to the pan, and roast for another twenty minutes until everything is nicely caramelized.
- Deglaze the pan with a half-cup of water and add this to the stock-pot along with the vegetables once they have cooled.
- Add 8 cups (2 liters) of cold water to the pot and simmer gently for about 4 hours.
- Strain out the vegetables and then reduce the stock to about half its original volume by boiling.
- Cool and refrigerate or freeze for later use.